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Roy Williams comments on Kansas self-report

Posted Sunday, July 17, 2005

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Williams: Only spoke to one alumnus about giving graduation 'gifts' to seniors


Roy Williams: "For 15 years as head coach at the University of Kansas I tried to run a model program, adhering to all NCAA rules. We wanted a program that would positively represent the University and the integrity of our basketball program was always very important to me.

I am deeply saddened to say there was evidently a mistake. I want to comment on this report at this time.

It hurts me greatly to see some of the headlines and the news crawl across the bottom of the television saying some of the things that were printed last night and today. There may have been a mistake, but these sensational headlines do not portray a true picture of what took place.

I also regret that these three people involved are seeing their names in this setting. They are three wonderful people who are leading citizens in their communities, have a great deal of love for the University of Kansas athletics and have this same love for all aspects of the University. They are nothing but great people!

I will address the report as it pertains to each of the three individuals.

1. I did speak with one alumnus and one alumnus only on the question of "May I give these seniors a graduation gift?" I personally felt this was not a problem and evidently a communication problem led me to believe this was okay with our compliance department. Therefore, I told the alum a small `gift' would be okay. I also stated the `gift' shouldn't be extravagant and there should be no campaign for this - just a personal graduation `gift.'

I did not know the rule that `once you are a student-athlete, you are a student-athlete until death.'

Kansas never gained a recruiting or competitive advantage - the students had completed their eligibility and it was seen as a `graduation gift.' I have never promised anything to a prospective student-athlete, including playing time.

2. The self-report says that the second scenario of a `graduation gift from an alum was a small gift of $25 to $100' and actually began before I was the head coach at Kansas. I never had any knowledge of these `gifts' and therefore never gave `approval.'

3. The alumnus himself says in the report that I referred him to the KU compliance department and that is where he felt he received `approval.' The `gifts' in three instances were purchasing lifetime memberships to the university's alumni association and in one case the purchase of a suit of clothes for an individual. I never had any knowledge of these `gifts' and therefore did not give my `approval.'

Men's basketball is mentioned two other times in this report. I am bothered by them, as well. In the spring of 2002, I regret that a mistake in reimbursement of travel expenses gave one prospective student-athlete $6.22 extra, another prospective student-athlete 23 cents extra and another prospective student-athlete 14 cents extra. I also regret that two walk-ons on the 2002-03 team were given four meals at the training table (at a value of $26) for which they were not properly charged.

I don't believe there is any pattern of intentional wrongdoing in these cases, but they were mistakes.

I love the University of Kansas and hate that this situation developed. I feel strongly that this does not paint a proper picture of my 15 years there. I am personally very hurt by what has happened. My integrity and reputation are extremely important to me and the initial media reports of these incidents have in some instances been extremely harsh.

I take compliance with NCAA rules very seriously. If ever I do not, or the university leadership thinks I do not, it is time for me to move on. As always, my staff and I are committed to running a program in complete compliance with the rules. I will never do anything to embarrass this great university, just as I was committed to doing things the proper way at Kansas. I will continue to represent Carolina in a positive manner, always conducting myself as a person with great integrity."

University of North Carolina Chancellor James Moeser "I have absolute confidence in Roy Williams. We are proud to have him as our coach. Our program is in good hands. Roy and his staff pay close attention to NCAA rules and he competes with the highest of integrity."

University of North Carolina Director of Athletics Dick Baddour "No one is more committed to complying with NCAA rules than Roy Williams. He and his staff have the utmost respect for doing things the right way. I am confident he received approval from the compliance staff at Kansas. I have never worked with a coach who is more serious about adhering to the rules than Coach Williams. He has proven that for more than 25 years. That is one of the reasons he has been and will continue to be one of the most respected coaches in the country."

Statement from Bob Frederick, University of Kansas Director of Athletics, 1987-2001:

"Because the NCAA is in the process of investigating a men's basketball matter, I am not going to comment on the specifics. But I want to say one thing about Roy Williams.

In all my years of intercollegiate athletics, there has never been anyone I worked with who was more scrupulous about working within the rules, asking questions about the rules, and being committed to the rules than Coach Williams. He ran a model program at Kansas in every respect. If there was a mistake in this matter, it was a communications mistake, because Roy Williams would never knowingly violate a rule. And everyone who worked around him at that time knows that to be the case.

If this matter had been reported (to the NCAA) as a single issue, I am confident it would be dealt with as a secondary rules violation."

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Roy Williams comments on Kansas self-report
UNC's head basketballl coach Roy Williams.
photo by Gene Galin

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